The Department of Corrections (DOC) provides many agency and volunteer operated programs to inmates and supervisees in order to constructively occupy inmate time, as well as provide opportunities for positive personal growth. This webpage represents a master list of currently available programs.
The Department's available programming changes frequently. Every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, however, this list may not represent currently available programs at Department facilities. If you have questions about the availability of a program, contact the prison, work release facility, or field office directly to inquire.
Currently Available Programs
- Family & Relationships
- Learning & Working
- Religious, Spiritual & Cultural
- Research & Evidence Based
- Therapeutic & Support
Last Updated: 12/20/2016
Family & Relationship Programs
- Boy Scouts Behind Bars
- With the Scouts, the parents play basketball and volleyball with their kids and lead activities related to Boy Scout values, including community, loyalty and helpfulness. Some of the parents won't be out for years, but others are in transition and the Scouting programs serve a motivational purpose, as well: they lead the inmates to behave like good Scouts because only mothers who are infraction-free at the prison can take part.
- Emotion Coaching
- Emotion Coaching is the key to raising happy, resilient, and well-adjusted kids. Research shows that it is not enough to be a warm, engaged, and loving parent. We also need to emotion coach our kids. Emotion-coached kids tend to experience fewer negative feelings and more positive feelings. Inmates learn the simple and effective three-step process: First, label and validate the emotions you see. Second, deal with misbehavior if you need to. Finally, help your child solve the problem.
- Girl Scouts Behind Bars
- The children of women convicted of crimes may not be incarcerated alongside their mothers, but unwittingly they're also being punished. The Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program offers to rebuild broken mother-daughter relationships, easing separation and empowering young women to manage feelings of anger and abandonment. Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program (GSBB), is an initiative designed to maintain and grow mother-child relationships while mothers are away. The troop's activities are centered on rebuilding the tenuous relationships, and in addition to arts and crafts and learning life skills, the mothers and daughters bond by asking and answering tough questions of each other.
- Inside Out Dads
- Inside Out Dads is a curriculum for incarcerated fathers that bridges the gap between the inmate father and his children. Through the program, inmate dads deal with their pasts in order to discover their futures—and the possibility that they can parent differently from their own, often absent, fathers. Learn more about Inside Out Dads on YouTube.
- Long Distance Dads
- The Long Distance Dads program focuses on parenting and relationship skills, and Fathers as Readers has dads' tape recording stories to send home for their children to hear. If being a good father is a challenge in the best of circumstances, it's particularly tough for men behind bars. Such programs "can make a difference not just in the lives of children, but in the recidivism rate — keeping these guys out, and making them productive citizens."
- Parenting Inside Out®
The Parenting Inside Out program is an evidence-based parenting skills training program developed for criminal justice involved parents. The prison parenting program is appropriate for both incarcerated mothers and incarcerated fathers who are parenting from prison. As part of a reentry program, Parenting Inside Out has a proven impact on reducing recidivism and criminal behavior while improving family relationships and parenting skills. Parenting Inside Out has had a meaningful impact on inmates, their children and their families. In many instances, inmates who had never had relationships with their children have learned how to connect with them from prison and after they have released into the community.
The Parenting Inside Out program's influence on inmate's lives extends beyond learning good parenting skills. A sound social network is one of the critical pieces to ensuring successful transition to living in the community. Through rebuilding family relationships, inmates set the stage for reentering the community and living positive, pro-social lives.
- Parent/Teacher Conferencing
- Parent teacher teleconferencing is offered to inmates with children in the school system. Conferencing is intended to assist inmates in maintaining positive connections with their children and to engage these parents with the teachers to support the academic success of their children.
- Partners in Parenting
- Partners in Parenting focuses on the identified concerns of recovering parents and encourages learning and skill-building in key areas such as parent-child communication, developmental expectancies, guidance and discipline, problem solving, and self-care. The intervention contains materials for an 8-session structured workshop that allows participants to practice parenting strategies and discuss their experiences with others.
- Preparing for Release
- Preparing for Release is designed for inmates returning to a family type environment, and occurs at the institution within 6 months of release. Preparing for Release consists of four 4-hour sessions. Sessions 1 and 3 are with the inmate only, while Sessions 2 and 4 are with inmate and a family member. Preparing for Release provides healthy communication techniques and boundaries for families to safely discuss their concerns and expectations prior to release. At the conclusion of Preparing for Release, each participating family will have developed a "Family Re-entry Agreement" that identifies and prioritizes the entire family's needs prior to the inmate returning home.
- Read to Me Daddy/Mommy
- Parents select a fun, positive and inspiring book, or poem for their child. Then they practice reading it aloud and the reading is recorded. The recording and book are then sent to the child, fostering connection between children and their absent parent.
- Relationship Enrichment
- Relationship Enrichment is based on The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, which was developed from Dr. Gottman's four decades of research with more than 3,000 couples. Dr's. John and Julie Gottman have fine-tuned their innovative method of correcting behaviors that send marriages onto the rocks. By showing partners how to work with the small daily moments that make up the heart and soul of any relationship, The Gottman Seven Principles Program teaches couples proven, practical, and effective strategies for making marriage work.
- Residential Parenting Program
- The Residential Parenting Program (RPP) allows pregnant, minimum security inmates with sentences shorter than 30 months the opportunity to keep their babies with them after giving birth. See the fact sheet to learn more about the program.
- Strength in Families
- The Strength in Families program is a Department of Corrections inmate program that is funded by a federal Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families grant (also known as the ReFORM grant) and offered in selected state correctional facilities for fathers returning to Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pierce, and Thurston counties. Family-focused case management, supported access to community resources, and one-on-one assistance with education and employment goals are offered to all participants in the program, and will ultimately promote public safety for all Washingtonians through stronger families and reduced recidivism. Learn more about the Strength in Families program on YouTube.
Learning & Working Programs
- Bike Refurbishing
- Washington Colleges in Prison Program
- The Department of Corrections partners with the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges and eight community colleges to provide educational programs to incarcerated individuals. Students can enroll in a variety of educational pursuits including basic education for adults, English as a second language, and professional-technical degree and certificate programs. Generally, every incarcerated individual will need to complete a high school diploma or GED and courses are available at every prison. Students can enroll in one of twenty-five different professional-technical degree or certificate programs including automotive, advanced manufacturing, baking, business, building trades, computer coding, digital design, technical design, and welding. Most courses are transferable to community and technical colleges and some Washington State universities. Students can earn up to one associate’s degree or year-long certificate at no-cost as part of their reentry plan. For more information go to https://www.sbctc.edu/colleges-staff/programs-services/prisons/.
Incarcerated individuals who want to continue their education after release may work with one of nine college reentry navigators who will assist students in applying for financial aid, dealing with past financial aid issues, choosing a college and program, and enrollment. Navigators are located at colleges in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit and Spokane counties.
- Braille Services
- Braille Services is a Correctional Industries program designed to help address a national shortage of braille materials and provide educational and job training opportunities for inmates. Inmates selected for the Braille Services Team are hired through an evaluation process based upon their behavior, computer knowledge and education.
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- English as a Second Language is offered to improve English speaking, reading, and writing to those with an alternate first language.
- Freedom Education Project Puget Sound
- Freedom Education Project Puget Sound (FEPPS) provides a rigorous college program to incarcerated women in Washington and creates pathways to higher education after women are released from prison. Our goals are to increase women prisoners' economic and personal empowerment, contribute to family stability and reduce recidivism through college education.
- Sustainability Programs
The Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) is a partnership of the Washington State Department of Corrections and The Evergreen State College. The SPP mission is to bring science and nature into prisons to help reduce the environmental, economic, and human costs of prisons by inspiring and informing sustainable practices. SPP programming includes:
- Environmental Education & Training programs train inmates and correctional staff through guest lectures, an environmental literacy program called Roots of Success, and hands-on workshops. Activities are geared toward improving prison sustainability while connecting participants to the larger world of scientific research and conservation. Inmates are introduced to educational and employment opportunities that they may pursue after release, a critical factor for reducing recidivism. In addition to offering education-specific programming, SPP integrates education into every one of our programs.
- Ecological Conservation Programs connect people inside and outside prison walls to create a collaborative, intellectually stimulating environment in which incarcerated men and women play key roles in conservation and advancing scientific knowledge. Some of the inmate conservation programs include rearing Monarch and Taylor's Checkerspot butterflies, prairie conservation nurseries, Sagebrush Steppe conservation nursuries, Western Pond Turtle rehabilitation, beekeeping, and rearing Oregon Spotted Frogs.
- Sustainable Operations Programs have been implemented in every Washington state prison in waste sorting, composting, recycling, gardening, water and energy conservation, and more. The goal is to develop cost-effective, environmentally sound practices for prison operations and engage inmates with direct responsibility for these activities where security is in place.
Go to the SPP website for a comprehensive list of sustainability programs offered at each prison facility.
Project participants include inmates and Department correctional officers, administrators, and facility managers, as well as Evergreen faculty, staff and students. Other program participants include visiting scientists and community partners such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the Oregon Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Center for Natural Land Management.
Religious, Spiritual & Cultural Programs
- The Department of Corrections (DOC) is committed to providing a wide array of religious and spiritual programming to inmates. The Department has Chaplains at each facility to offer a broad spectrum of religious and cultural programs and events, and a large number of volunteers from the community who supplement and enhance what our Chaplains provide. This following list is not all-inclusive. Please speak with your loved to inquire what programs they are engaged in.
- African American Literature
- African American Literature is devoted to the reading and discussing of literature written by African Americans.
- Asian Pacific Islanders (API) Groups
- Asian Pacific Islanders (API) groups offer the Department's API population the opportunity to learn more about their heritage and cultures. Some facilities develop a music and dance program that is shared with family and visitors, and may include foods from the API cultures.
- Astara has been dedicated to elevating the consciousness and health of humankind since it was founded in 1951. People from all faiths study esoteric teachings and mystic philosophy through Astara.
- Baha'i faith is a monotheistic religion which emphasizes the spiritual unity of all humankind. The Bahá'í faith places great importance on the relationship with God, but not on religious ritual.
- The Baptists are one of the largest Christian denominations. As indicated by their name, the primary Baptist distinctive is their practice of believer's baptism and corresponding rejection of infant baptism.
- African American History Cultural Groups
- African American History cultural groups are offered to our inmates to celebrate the culture and traditions of our Black ancestors. The learning and celebrations vary widely throughout our facilities.
- Black Prisoners Caucus (BCP)
- Black Prisoners Caucus (BPC) consists of African American men incarcerated in Washington state. The organization fosters respect, responsibility, self-worth, and unity. BPC's purpose is to provide a medium for African American prisoners to work collectively to improve family relationships, facilities, and communities. The mission of BPC is to promote cultural growth and provide incarcerated men the tools and platform to confront social issues that perpetuate discrimination, inequity, and oppression among prisoners and poor communities of color.
- CeAtl Tonalli Aztecan Group
- CeAtl Tonalli Aztecan Group is a traditional Aztec Dance group. They have been organizing ceremonies, Danza presentations, historical and cultural workshops, artistic projects, and community engagement.
- Christian Science
- Christian Science, officially called the Church of Christ, Scientist, is a religion that emphasizes physical healing through prayer and a recognition of the nonexistence of matter and illness. It was founded in the late 19th century by Mary Baker Eddy. Christian Science should not be confused with Scientology. Despite a somewhat similar name, the two groups are completely different and have almost nothing in common.
- Church of Satan
- The Church of Satan was started by Anton LaVey in San Francisco, California on April 30, 1966. The Church of Satan neither worships the Judeo-Christian devil nor does it believe in the being's existence. "Satanism" to church members is more like a philosophy than a traditional religion.
- Druidry is a form of modern spirituality or religion that generally promotes harmony and worship of nature, and respect for all beings, including the environment.
- Eastern or Greek Orthodox
- Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which includes the Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches and several others, is the continuation of the historical organized church as it developed in Eastern Europe.
- Gnosticism is a modern term categorizing a collection of ancient religions whose adherents shunned the material world and embraced the spiritual world
- The broad term "Hinduism" encompasses a wide variety of traditions, which are closely related and share common themes but do not constitute a unified set of beliefs or practices. Hindu religious life might take the form of devotion to God or gods, the duties of family life, or concentrated meditation.
- Hispanic Cultural Groups
- Hispanic cultural heritage groups are offered to celebrate and perpetuate traditional values and traditions of Hispanic people.
- Islam is a monotheistic faith based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad in 7th-century Saudi Arabia. The Arabic word islam means "submission," reflecting the faith's central tenet of submitting to the will of God. Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
- Jehovah's Witness
- The group now known as the Jehovah's Witnesses was founded in 1879 by Charles Taze Russell, a Pennsylvania businessman. Jehovah's Witnesses place a high value on moral living.
- Judaism began as early as the 8th century BCE as the religion of the small nation of the Hebrews. The central religious belief of Judaism is that there is only one God. Modern Judaism is a complex phenomenon that incorporates both a nation and a religion, and often combines strict adherence to ritual laws with a more liberal attitude towards religious belief.
- Kairos Prison Ministry
- Kairos volunteers from various Christian denominations join together to share Christ's love in medium and maximum security prisons. "Kairos" is Greek for "God's Special Time." Volunteers organize Kairos Inside , a ministry whose mission is to develop a Christian community inside prisons by facilitating long-weekend courses in Christianity inside Department institutions. Kairos Inside inmate participants are encouraged to form small groups dedicated to meeting and supporting one another's walk with Christ. Kairos volunteers meet monthly with the weekend graduates to provide encouragement in their collective walk with Christ.
- Krishna Consciousness
- Hare Krishna is the popular name for the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (or ISKCON), a new religious movement based in Hinduism. Established in America in 1965, the Hare Krishna worship the Hindu god Krishna as the one Supreme God. Their goal is "Krishna consciousness" and their central practice is chanting the Hare Krishna mantra for which they are named.
- Messianic Judaism
- Messianic Judaism is movement that combines Christianity, most importantly, the Christian belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah, with elements of Judaism and Jewish tradition.
- Mormonism & Latter Day Saints
- Mormonism was founded by Joseph Smith in the mid-19th century Northeast United States. The largest Mormon religious body is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Modern-day Mormonism is known for its family-centered churches, excellent geneaological records, worldwide missionary efforts, and elaborate temples.
- Nondenominational Christianity
- Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ approximately 2,000 years ago. With nearly two billion professed adherents worldwide, Christianity is the largest religion in the world. Nondenominational churches are those which typically distance themselves from the confessionalism and/or creedalism of other Christian communities by calling themselves nondenominational . Often founded by individual pastors, these churches have little affiliation with historic denominations .
- Odinism is a group within Heathenry (also termed Heathenism or Germanic Neopaganism).
- Neo-Paganism (also spelled Neopaganism and also known as Paganism) is a religion that emphasizes ancient pagan religious traditions and reverence for nature. Neopaganism is not an organized religion and has no official doctrine, creed, or organization.
- Prisoners for Christ
- The Prisoners for Christ organization seeks to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those in jails and prisons by providing church services, Bible studies, seminary-level classes, outreach concerts, and one-on-one mentoring.
- Protestantism arose in the 16th century during the Reformation, which took place mainly in Germany, Switzerland, and Britain. Protestants do not acknowledge the authority of the Pope, reject many traditions and beliefs of the Catholic Church, emphasize the importance of reading the Bible and hold to the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. Protestantism encompasses numerous denominational groups, including Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and Evangelicals.
- A religion with deep political convictions, Rastafarianism began in the slums of Jamaica in the 1920s and 30s. African religious tradition has heavily influenced the culture of Rastafarianism and biblical themes have heavily influenced the religion's belief system. There is no formal, organized leadership in Rastafarianism, creating a wide variety of spiritual and moral variation within the religion.
- Roman Catholicism
- Before the Reformation (in the 1500s), if you were a Christian, you belonged to the Catholic Church. Roman Catholicism represents the continuation of the historical organized church as it developed in Western Europe, and is headed by the Pope. Distinctive beliefs of Catholics include the doctrines of Transubstantiation and Purgatory, and distinctive practices include veneration of saints and use of the rosary.
- Seventh Day Adventist
- The Seventh-day Adventist Church (abbreviated SDA) is a Christian denomination that grew out of the prophetic "Millerite" movement (i.e. William Miller ) in the United States during the middle part of the 19th century. It considers itself a branch of Protestant Christianity.
- Sikhism is one of the youngest world religions in the Eastern world. It emerged in 16th-century India in an environment heavily permeated with conflicts between the Hindu and Muslim religions. Its founding teacher, Guru Nanak Dev, was born in 1469 to a Hindu family. His most famous saying was, "There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim, so whose path shall I follow? I shall follow the path of God." Today, there are about 23 million Sikhs worldwide, making Sikhism the fifth largest religion in the world.
- Wicca is a type of Neopaganism. While Wiccan beliefs can be diverse, most followers of Wicca believe in a single ultimate reality that pervades the universe and is expressed in the Goddess and God.
Research & Evidence Based Programs
- Alternatives to Aggression (A2A)
Alternatives to Aggression (A2A) is a series delivered in general population as well as the maximum custody population, however, with differing intended outcomes. In general population the focus is on recidivism reduction with the participants targeted based on their criminogenic needs information and their impending release into the community. The focus on the maximum custody population is with the reduction in current violent behavior and reducing the likelihood of returning to maximum custody once the participants have completed the program. A2A is comprised of three main components:
- Motivational Engagement is an orientation program to assess participants where they are at that time, to prime them for the two main components of the program, and to increase the amount of exposure each participant has to the cognitive behavioral change process.
- Social Skills Training teaches participants what to do, helping them replace antisocial behaviors with positive alternatives.
- Anger Control teaches participants what not to do, helping them respond to anger in a nonaggressive manner and rethink anger-provoking situations.
- Moving On
- Moving On is a gender-specific program addressing many risk factors that can lead to a woman's criminal behavior. It provides women with alternatives to criminal activity by helping them identify and mobilize personal and community resources. Program content is organized around four main themes: Encouraging personal responsibility and enhancing motivation for change; expanding connections and building healthy relationships; skill enhancement, development, and maintenance; and relaxation and stress management skills.
- Parenting Inside Out®
- Sex Offender Treatment Program
- The Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) is offered to men and women who have been convicted of a sexually motivated crime. Treatment is targeted to the highest risk inmates. Men and women (separately) participate in group therapy designed to help them identify the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that led to their offending behavior. They learn skills and interventions to both decrease their likelihood of re-offense and increase healthy coping mechanisms.
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Treatment is provided by licensed professionals and meets the standards of the State of Washington. Substance abuse treatment is available in the prisons and work releases for those identified as in need of services either through the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA), a court ordered Judgment and Sentence, or a substance use screening administered at our reception centers.
- Thinking for a Change (T4C)
- Thinking for a Change 4.0 (T4C) is an integrated cognitive behavioral change program. T4C incorporates research from cognitive restructuring theory, social skills development, and the learning and use of problem solving skills. In simple terms, T4C works with the participant to understand how harmful or nonproductive thoughts and feelings often lead to harmful or nonproductive behaviors. Additionally, it provides direction to those participants on how to recognize and restructure those thoughts and feelings so that they may more appropriately respond to otherwise challenging situations.
Therapeutic & Support Programs
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- Alcoholics Anonymous is an international mutual aid fellowship. AA's stated "primary purpose" is to help alcoholics "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety". AA's approach is a Twelve Step program of spriritual and character development. The scope of AA's program is much broader than just abstinence from drinking alcohol. Its goal is to effect enough change in the alcohlic's thinking "to bring about recovery from alcholism" through a spriritual awakening.
- Alternatives to Violence (AVP)
- Alternatives to Violence is a volunteer-run conflict transformation program. Teams of trained AVP facilitators conduct experiential workshops to develop participant's abilities to resolve conflicts without resorting to manipulation, coercion, or violence. Typically, each workshop lasts 18-20 hours over a two or three day period. AVP groups and facilitators are active in communities and prisons across the United States and in many other countries.
- Cat Programs
- All Washington prisons operate some kind of animal training or adoption program. These animal-focused programs help connect inmates with living things which is a cornerstone of the Department of Corrections Sustainability in Prisons Project. The programs benefit local communities, teach the inmates responsibility, and provide an incentive to maintain positive behavior while incarcerated.
- Celebrate Recovery
- Celebrate Recovery is a volunteer-run biblical and balanced program that is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than the psychology theory. It was designed as a program to help those struggling with hurts, habits, and hang-ups by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process.
- Dog Programs
- All Washington prisons operate some kind of animal training or adoption program. The programs benefit local communities, teach the inmates responsibility, and provide an incentive to maintain positive behavior while incarcerated. Learn more by reading the 'Digging Deeper: Exploring the Value of Prison-Based Dog Handler Programs' study.
- Freedom Project
- Freedom Project provides Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness programs in Washington State prisons. Freedom Project offers trainings in concrete skills of nonviolence leading to reconciliation with ourselves, our loved ones, and the community. Their work addresses the healing of relationships ruptured by violence and the forging of community founded on genuine safety through connection.
- The IF Project
- The IF Project is a collaboration of law enforcement, currently and previously incarcerated adults, and community partners focused on intervention, prevention and reduction in incarceration and recidivism. Our work is built upon–and inspired by–people sharing their personal experiences surrounding the issues of incarceration. This project is based on the question: "If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?"
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
- Narcotics Anonymous is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous in practice and use of the Twelve Step model. NA describes itself as a "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem."
- REDEMPTION Project
- All Redemption Project events promote the prison's violence-free culture. The project's purpose is to encourage a change in lifestyle. There are four different branches – re-entry, education, community, and violence prevention. Individuals do not have to be infraction–free to enter the program but they must pledge from the first day they join that they will remain infraction–free. Participants start with a 21–week self–awareness course, facilitated by inmates or supervisees who have already completed the course. Staff members are also involved to bring a different perspective to the conversation, as well as to help bridge the "us vs. them" dynamic that sometimes exists between staff and incarcerated individuals.
- Toastmasters International
- Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.
- Yoga Behind Bars
- Yoga Behind Bars (YBB) is driven to find a way to fundamentally change the current course of the American corrections system. Since 2008, YBB has helped thousands of incarcerated women, youth, and men transform their lives through our programs. Learn more about Yoga Behind Bars on YouTube.
- Veterans Programs
- The Department offers special programs, and have some living units, that are expressly for those inmates who have served in the armed forces. The agency continues to expand services for veterans.